A study by researchers at Aberdeen University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health suggests adopting a gluten-free diet can reduce fatigue and increase energy levels. The “Going Gluten Free” study is the largest of its kind in the UK.
95 adults (64 women and 31 men) were asked to adopt a gluten-free diet for three weeks and then to return to their ‘normal’ diet for the same period.
Results included less bloating, flatulence and fatigue because it leads to a healthier nutritional intake. Dr Alexandra Johnstone, of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, told the Daily Mail: “It was interesting to discover that a gluten-free diet improves feelings of fatigue, with participants reporting much higher energy levels during the gluten-free period of the study.
“The fact that they were able to start tasks quicker, concentrate better and think clearer during this time, and felt the need to rest less, all point towards the idea that sensitivity to gluten does exist for some individuals who don’t have coeliac disease.
“It was equally interesting to see that none of participants gained any weight while going gluten-free, in fact our participant’s diets improved through increased fiber and vegetable consumption, and reduced salt intake.”
Regarding a gluten-free diet Consumer Reports has warned about the danger of eating too much rice containing arsenic. “About half of the gluten-free products Consumer Reports purchased contained rice flour or rice in another form. In 2012 we reported on our tests of more than 60 rices and packaged foods with rice (such as pasta, crackers, and infant cereal). We found measurable levels of arsenic in almost every product tested. Many of them contained worrisome levels of inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen.
“A 2009-10 study from the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 17 percent of an average person’s dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic comes from rice. That may be an underestimate, especially for people on a gluten-free diet.
“In a 2014 Spanish study, researchers estimated the arsenic intake of adults with celiac disease. They devised a daily menu that assumed someone would eat rice or a rice product high in arsenic at every meal and snack. A 128-pound woman following such a diet would get 192 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per week from rice and rice foods alone. For a man weighing 165 pounds, it would be 247 micrograms. “These levels are close to 10 times the amount of inorganic arsenic we think consumers should get in their diets on a weekly basis,” Crupain says.
Consumer Reports found Basmati rice from India, Pakistan, or California and sushi rice from the U.S. had the lowest levels of total inorganic arsenic compared with other types of rice. Brown rice by the way has higher levels than white rice. Because of the arsenic concern they recommend only eating two servings a week of regular rice.